Exit the Chapel of St. Joseph down the steps into the east transept
(section crossing the cathedral's main body, or nave, and
giving the whole building the shape of a cross). At the doorway is the
statue of St. Paul, sculpted in relief, holding a scroll of letters (epistles)
and the sword representing God's word ("a two-edged sword"),
which he proclaimed throughout the Roman Empire. The sword also reminds
us of his martyrdom in Rome. It is thought that Paul was beheaded by the
Roman authorities. On either side are two other witnesses of Christ: John the Baptist (right), who directed his own disciples to "Behold
the Lamb of God," and Mary Magdalen (left), the disciple first sent
by Christ to announce his Resurrection.
|East Transept doorway
The statue of St. Paul serves as a link with the cathedral exterior,
where the tympanum (area above the doorway) narrates three episodes
in his life. Portraits of Bishops Wigger and O'Connor are also on the
exterior, upper left and upper right, respectively.
|Statue of St. Paul
The interior tympanum celebrates God's Revelation through figures of
Hebrew Scriptures, most of them encountered in the Bible as youths: Solomon,
Joseph, Daniel, Judith with the head of Holofernes, Tobit, Samuel, and
Samson. At the peak is the boy Jesus, flanked by images of David and Susanna.
Stained glass windows fill the cathedral with beauty, filtering the sun's
light in myriad colors. Light is a metaphor for God's grace, which comes
to us filtered in myriad ways through the world itself, the person of
Christ, the words of Scripture, and the lives of others. A rose window
is circular and elaborate design expresses the intricate yet unified
mystery of God and the universe. Franz Zettler of Munich, Germany, crafted
these rose windows, considered among the finest in the world.
The east rose window, especially brilliant in the light of the
rising sun, is titled "Our Lord with the Four Evangelists."
The emblem IHS symbolizes the central position of Christ in salvation
history and in the life of the Christian. Symbols of Jesus' Passion surround
it. Christ as the Lamb sacrificed and victorious is at the top, attended
by angels and the four Evangelists (in trifoil and quatrefoil
flowers, clockwise from upper right): Luke, John, Matthew, and Mark.
The lancet (pointed) windows beneath this rose display youthful
saints: Cecilia, Tarcisius, Agnes, Aloysius, Thérèse, Stanislaus Kostka,
and Maria Goretti.
|East Rose Window